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GCSE: Death of a Salesman
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had a devastating effect on his domestic life - his favourite son, Biff, found out about Willy's cheating and the family unit, a major part of the American Dream, has over the years broken down. Biff accuses his father of being a "phoney fake". In each of the scenes of our devised performance the dialogue is improvised and we tried to make the stage scenery as minimalist as possible - this allowed swift scene changes and so each scene can be viewed as a snapshot into the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances There are five main scenes in our devised drama piece.
- Word count: 1259
Developing on this I didn't want to have too much comedy within the review as I feel it would be hard to sustain it to a high a quality if I persisted with it through out the piece. So I included it in short sharp bursts to add `colour` to the review. When I did add the comedy I wanted to bring the reader back to the point I was trying to get across with phrases like: "seriously though". This helps to remind the reader that the most important part of the writing is not the comedy but the actual review.
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His dreams have always involved money; he thought money brought happiness. This is where I believe Willy wanted to live the "American Dream", where you get happiness out of wealth. He believed so much in the "American Dream", he thought his life was almost like it in the past, and he wanted it back desperately. In act one, page 46, Linda is speaking to Biff and Happy about Willy. She claims that he is trying to kill himself. "Linda: He's been trying to kill himself." This proves to me that Willy just wants to end his life because he feels sorry himself, and he can't live with the truth of his
- Word count: 1360
First impressions of Biff and Happy as adults - What can you see in their adolescence that helped to form the adults they’ve become?
I feel that unlike Willy and Happy, Biff feels compelled to seek the truth about himself. While his father and brother are unable to accept the miserable reality of their respective lives, Biff acknowledges his failure and eventually manages to confront it. "What the hell am I doing, playing around with horses, twenty-eight dollars a week! I'm thirty-four years old, I oughta be makin' my future." Biff is unafraid, like his father to admit when his life isn't going to plan.
- Word count: 709
"He had the wrong dreams. All, all wrong". Is Biff's valedictory opinion of his father Willy's life correct in your view?
This is why he reveals that he has been to prison for theft. Biff goes on to try and make Willy face reality in his terms. At one point he states quite clearly that it was his father who 'blew me so full of hot air I could never stand taking orders from anybody' .It is the devastating statement that Biff and Willy are both 'a dime a dozen' or very ordinary, that shatters Willy's dreams. In having an affair Willy betrays Biff's ideal image of his father to the extent that Biff labels him a 'fake' and makes him
- Word count: 1624
Arthur Miller uses the theatre to enhance the characterisation. He does this by using lighting, set, music, the apron of the stage, costume and the structure of the actors.
The play is set like a Greek tragedy set in America. Biff talking to Willy about American Football; show the American theme, this is when Biff says, "just for you I'm going to break through for a touchdown." The American language is used a lot in the death of a salesman, "You don't raise a guy to a job who whistles in the elevator!" The Greek tragedy feeling in the play is also shown, as Ben is set like a choric figure.
- Word count: 1290
This leads onto success, wealth and in enough time power. But this dream can encourage greed, selfish behaviour, pride and rivalry between one another. Willy Loman was 'caught-up' in this American Dream. It causes business to develop in the world. Capitalistic and competitive instinct, makes Willy have a weakness in his personality. This weakness was caused by a combination of business pressures. One part of the American Dream is linked to the idea of the pioneering wilderness, this took place in the early history of America, in which pioneers conquered the wilderness.
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He also lapses into flashbacks and appears to relive conversations and situations he had years ago. This shows his inability to see reality. This problem of his failure to distinguish between reality and illusion helps to bring about his down fall because he believes he is "worth more dead than alive." Charlie the voice of reality tells him "A man isn't worth anything dead." Willy also has too much pride and this leads to his disillusion. Another instance of his pride showing through is that he won't work for Charley, but accepts money from him on the premise that it is a loan and he can pay him back.
- Word count: 706
Even as he is contemplating death he still maintains hope in the fact that his insurance monies will be, enough to give Biff the much-needed start he needs. Linda is Willy 's wife and exceedingly loyal to his hopes and ideas. She is constantly trying to find a way between her sons and Willy in order to try and ease the tension. She becomes obviously depressed as Willy contemplates suicide or as she puts it 'ringing up a zero' whilst knowing that, there is nothing she can do to help him.
- Word count: 1716
Willy presents this false dream to his son by emphasizing the idea of being popular. Willy states, "be popular and you will not want." In turn, his son becomes a victim because he is presented with this false conception about succeeding. This misconception Willy portrays to Biff will eventually lead to Biff's failure in life. In addition, Willy does not separate the real world from his business dreamworld; which causes conflict in his life. Willy "allows the dreams necessary to his work to start to take over his whole person". This in turn, causes Willy to contradict and lie to himself and to his family.
- Word count: 1493